British Heart Foundation
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CRTD and anyone had the WICS headless device fitted?

Hi all

So just considering my options for what next after CRT lead fell out again!

The team now want me to try the WICS device which is a leadless device that is dropped into the heart muscle with a further device implanted into your side.

Has anyone on here had this op would be great to get actual feedback from people that have had this operation

Just understanding pros and cons... and battery life as it doesn't come up with it on Google.

When they said WICS I thought they were going to send me to the local DIY store 😁😁

I am now getting focussed and going for upbeat and let's work through a plan for next op. I do need the CRT mechanism in my life... and accepting this has helped me move forward and now just want to get on - work on the best device for me and get ready for next operation.

And a HUGE thanks to the BHF nurse who listened and guided me tthough my options this morning.... it was the BEST.... thank you. X

10 Replies

Sending some love x

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I'm sure wicks will be proud that you are thinking of them in your difficult time, and good that you can see a funny side to your problems I don't think they are your best people to go to about your problem although I do find them helpful, I can't help you with your problem either apart from wishing you all the best and hope that the final outcome works well for you.

Thinking of you Andrew


On it says the battery life is 9-10 years

best wishes



Hi Andrew many thanks for looking into this for me which is very job.

I had looked at this study however the 9 -10 year battery life is for a different model which is a ICD headless device. It states no info on battery life for the WICS... so will need to ask the surgeon at my meeting. The other concern is extracting the device when the battery runs out.... sounds like that may be complicated. Just doing as much research before I go in next week.

Many thanks aha. I will keep everyone posted on my decision 😀



Do make sure that you ask all the questions of the people that know. I researched the leadless pacemakers before in general and was under the impression that they left them in the heart and didn’t retrieve them when they needed replacing (they are small sometimes likened to a grain of rice though not sure how accurate that is).

There was a One Show recently where something similar if not the same thing was implanted in a heart failure patient - I will try and find it (Wednesday 21 February it might be on iPlayer). To date most have been single pacing devices so I think that this was a step forward as I was under the impression it wasn’t and was communicating to another device which this sounds like your proposal is (it was placed in the ventricle).

I am due a dual chamber pacemaker soon as they are trying to get AV node synchronicity for me as well as resolve bradycardia and was told they weren’t there yet on leadless for this so I am disappointed I was keen to hold out for leadless.

Leadless is the future as the leads are where most of the problems come from so I’m very pleased that they are offering you this solution. You will be a pioneering trend setter as well as our cheerleading heartlady.

In all seriousness although this technology is new it is the future, the leads are the current problem especially for those of us younger patients (yes I’m still claiming that chestnut) who will live with a pacemaker many many years.

Do report back everything I’m very interested. And keen to know you are doing well obviously 😏.

Take care.


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Thanks Jo...

Well much activity and calls from the hospital today. And I may well go down that route of pioneering trend setter. 😀

So just some info that I have got today.... the device is very tiny as you say and the op to place the device into the heart is like having an angiogram ... not too invasive ( although it is going into your heart of course) they then put in a device in the left hand side that talks to the bean in your heart. This is all done at the same tome so is now one op not two.

And they are having great success rates. Once in there are no lead issue worries. This will then be programmed with the ICD part... to make it into a CRT device. And as I already have this implant that would negate the need for more surgery.

Negatives are.... the battery needs changing every 3 to 4 years... although the battery is not in your heart but sits in a little pocket on your chest. Although they think by the time of the first battery change they will have better battery life for the next one.

As my other device is then operating as an ICD the battery life there would be 10 plus years.

This technology has only been around for a short while so no data on medium to long term.... however they are saying high success rates of implants and then no issues once in.

I now have to have a screening to see if I am suitable to have this device fitted. Not everyone is... it depends where your ribs are!

But most people are suitable. If I pass the screening I then go for a chat with the surgeon .... and can decide if this is for me. I will keep you posted.......


Pioneering trendsetter lol, minimal invasive surgery sounds good, I know that whatever you decide will be the right choice for you. You are in my prayers at this time.

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Thank you Alexgilbert.... it is very getting to have to make these big decisions especially concerning new technology. However I am doing as much research as I can and now the surgeons are also happy to spend time to explain pros and cons, and will help me make an informed decision on which option has the greater chance of a better outcome.

And also wether I am eligible too. So watch this space as I carry on my research journey with the pioneers at the Oxford University team which is situated at the John Radcliffe.... in some ways I am blessed 😀


Can I ask please did you have the Wics device fitted, Having very similar issues with my CRTD and leads, Also under Oxford, and the team have suggested the Wics for me, I would be so interested to know how it went,


Hi Janieks..... I didn't have the Wicks in the end as I didn't pass the screening for it. Apparently most people do pass this but my ribs were in the wrong place!

When I went along they explained that it is still being trialed .... and as part of this trial once the op is carried out they won't necessarily switch it on at that point. But you won't know if you are on or not. After 6 months they do then switch everyone on.

You need an operation to your side and this needs a battery change approx every 2 years.. . So an op is needed each time. I think it really is each person's decision based on your particular situation ( and of course you need to pass the screening)

The surgeon Dr Betts is one of the top 10 surgeons in the country.

I wish you all the best in making your decision .... and do let me know how it goes. Can I just ask how many times your lead has come out? And were there any particular reasons. Mine has come out twice and I am going in for a third try shortly.... we're they are going to try a different vein to see if we can get the pesky lead in x


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